Code of Conduct
While Milton Players Theatre Group (MPTG) recognizes that we are a volunteer organization in which individuals join together for mutual enjoyment and satisfaction in the pursuit of producing quality theatre productions, MPTG also recognizes its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and commitment to provide a safe environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.
To that end, members of MPTG have a duty to conduct themselves professionally and to treat members of the public, one another and staff at venues and events with kindness and respect, creating an environment free of discrimination, all forms of harassment, bullying or violence.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to outline the expectations regarding the conduct of individuals who are involved in MPTG activities. These expectations are consistent with societal norms and are similar to those required in the employment context. For example, you should:
· Treat all persons equally, without discrimination or harassment based on the protected grounds which are set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code: a person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability, gender identity or gender expression;
· Be careful in your choice of language as some may find it offensive. Refrain from persistent use of vulgar language as well as engaging in abusive, uncivil or insulting language or actions;
· Refrain from engaging in malicious gossip, rumour or innuendo which can create a toxic and poisoned environment which has been found to constitute a form of indirect harassment;
· Refrain from exercising unnecessary force;
· Refrain from behaviour that is either prohibited or not authorized by law;
· Respect the privacy of others and personal space.
Additional examples of harassment and sexual harassment are discussed below.
Statement of Policy:
All members and volunteers are expected to know and follow this policy during MPTG activities.
a) Treating someone differently or unfairly, whether intentional or not, on a protected ground under the Code (as set out above). In other words, the fact that you didn’t intend to treat someone differently is irrelevant under human rights law.
a) Engaging in a course of vexatious (i.e. distressing, offensive) comments or conduct against a person that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. “Course of” implies repetition; however, a single egregious act can constitute harassment (for example, an assault).
b) Any conduct by an individual that is offensive to another person or persons and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat.
As you can see, the test is “unwelcome comments/conduct”; in other words, if the comments/conduct are welcome, then they do not constitute harassment. However, keep in mind that what may be welcome to one person may be unwelcome to another, so it is important that you are aware of your audience. When in doubt, don’t say or do it!
c) In the theatrical context, examples include continuing onstage behaviour (as part of character portrayal) outside of the production context (i.e., rehearsal or performance).
a) Engaging in harassment (see above definition and test) against a person because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
b) Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit to or take advantage of another person and the offending person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
c) Material such as pornographic or sexually explicit images, posters, calendars or objects;
d) Sexual activities, conduct, advances, comments, innuendos, humour, gestures, electronic communications or messages that are all unwelcome or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
e) Sexual exploitation, exposure, leering, stalking, or invasion of sexual privacy;
f) Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of involvement with the organization and/or a production; or
g) In the theatrical context, comments or conduct of a gender-related or sexual nature, outside the boundaries of consent or the production context (i.e., rehearsal or performance) including attempting to engage in sexual conduct or comment offstage that is specifically choreographed for the stage and/or is part of a character portrayal.
Sexual Abuse or Misconduct:
Sexual abuse or misconduct means non-consensual sexual activity, solicitation, involvement, contact or attempt of sexual contact or behaviour by one person towards another, and includes but is not limited to:
a) towards or with a person who is a minor (under 18 years old); or
b) towards or with another who is legally incapable or otherwise unable to give consent.
Consumption of, distribution, sale, or purchase of controlled substances at rehearsals or in the performance venue is prohibited. Being under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol, or substances of abuse during rehearsal or on stage is also prohibited.
Members and volunteers are encouraged to report any incidents of harassment, discrimination or misconduct (including conduct of a third party) to any member of the Executive or through an intermediary (such as the stage manager, director, producer, or any other member of MPTG whom you feel comfortable speaking to) who shall bring the complaint forward to the Executive.
In instances where it is safe to do so, people are encouraged to advise the perpetrator that the behavior is unwanted and offensive. However, it is not necessary that you directly confront the perpetrator before reporting the incident. It is recommended that complainants keep a record of incidents, including time, date and the nature of the behavior or activity and any witnesses, if any.
Investigation of Complaints:
The Executive will ensure an appropriate investigation of all complaints is conducted and that all complaints or incidents are addressed in a fair, respectful and timely manner on a case by case basis. Information about a complaint or incident will not be disclosed except to the extent necessary to protect affected individuals, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or as otherwise required by law.
During the course of any investigation, the Executive may require the alleged perpetrator to suspend their involvement with MPTG pending the outcome of the investigation.
Anti-retaliation and False Allegations:
MPTG prohibits retaliation made against any member, volunteer, Executive member or other person who lodges a good faith complaint under this Code of Conduct or who participates in any related investigation.
Making knowingly false or malicious accusations of harassment, discrimination or misconduct can have serious consequences for those who are wrongly accused. Accordingly, MPTG also prohibits the making of false or malicious allegations, as well as deliberately providing false information during an investigation.
Violations of Code of Conduct:
Anyone who violates this Code of Conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of membership and/or reporting to legal authorities, if applicable.